Parkland cancer survivor says early detection critical

With no family history of cancer, Jodi Gold believed that it was unlikely that she would get the disease. That, however, did not stop her from getting mammograms every year after she turned 40.

As it turned out, not leaving anything to chance saved the Parkland resident’s life.

Gold, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2013, vividly remembers the day. “I was working out five days a week and was in great shape; it was a huge shock when the doctor said that I had breast cancer. Initially, I broke down completely. Thankfully, my husband was there to listen to what the doctor had to say.”

After the initial shock had subsided, Gold decided that she was going to fight the disease. “I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer; it was then that I realized that I had been misdiagnosed for quite some time,” she said. “I underwent five months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. I am now cancer free and hope to remain so. I am on a cancer drug now and will be for 10 years.”

Watching her daughter undergo chemotherapy was hard for Edi Davidson. “Hopefully, it is all over. Jodi used to be very tired and was sleeping a lot,” she said. “What I remember the most about those days is how brave she was. She is a very strong girl with a fantastic attitude. She was going through so much, and yet, she ensured that I was comfortable.”

“I stayed as positive as I could all throughout the process,” said Gold. “I started talking to other people in the chemo room and helping them as much as I can. It made me feel better when I helped someone; I believe it helped me recover faster.”

Many incidents of breast cancer can be prevented if women take care of their health better, Gold said. “Women are often guilty of neglecting their health; we are caregivers by nature and always take care of other people while putting our problems aside. Early detection is critical in the case of breast cancer; that is something I try to impress upon as many women as I can.”

Dealing with breast cancer has changed Gold’s attitude to life. “I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore,” she said. “I am less stressed out than I used to be. My eating habits have changed for the better; I eat organic these days. I also talk to people much more; I share my story as much as I can.”

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